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#SRI — 29.10.2018

Sustainable Impact: In conversation with Eduard Fitó

Director of Business Development and Corporate Affairs at Semillas Fitó (Headquartered in Spain) Agribusiness founded in 1880 and exporter today to more than 70 countries

Agribusiness

“Food security is a global challenge that will occupy us until 2050. We must find a way to increase production yields in an ethical way.”

Eduard Fitó

Eduard Fitó is a business leader of Semillas Fitó, a seed company headquartered in Sant Marti de Provençals, Barcelona. Since its inception in 1880, the firm has transformed from a small family enterprise into a multinational company that pioneers genetic improvements, as well as the production and distribution of seeds for horticultural and field crops.

Given its global scale and focus on genetic research, Mr Fitó is acutely conscious of the firm’s responsibilities and influence. He comments: “For every project, we think of impact in terms of four sets of stakeholders: customers, employees, shareholders and the wider community. Our plans can only be successful if they are able to satisfy all those groups.

Its eight subsidiaries mean it has on-the-ground presence across Mediterranean countries as well as in Mexico, India and Chile. He is passionate about the power of the firm to transform the lives of customers in developing economies for the better. “We need to provide more support for the farmers who are trying to grow food in a more sustainable way."

"We must build strong relationships with those customers so we can understand their needs with regards to sustainability and then provide them with the information to transform their practices.”

Mr Fitó believes that the firm’s commitment to research and development offers  differentiated value to customers. Since 2007, Semillas Fitó has run a large bio-technology laboratory in Cabrera del Mar that conducts research into in-vitro developments, pathology
and molecular markers.

Innovation is a critical part of the future growth story of the firm, to which it allocates 15% of its overall investment.

Mr Fitó is also cognisant of the critical role his firm increasingly plays in setting ethical standards for the agricultural industry. “Food security is a global challenge that will occupy us to 2050. As an industry, we have to engage with each other in order to share knowledge and drive forward developments… We must find a way to increase production yields in an ethical way.”

He is part of the fifth generation of family members to join the business. Despite the firm’s long history, Mr Fitó is nonetheless able to identify the four principles that have formed the Semillas Fitó philosophy since the beginning. “Professionalism, discretion, long-term thinking and innovation. These, I think, are what define us regardless of who is running the company. Profit is not the only marker of success for us.”

The above article is an excerpt from BNP Paribas Global Entrepreneur Report 2018.

>> TO READ MORE INTERVIEWS WITH ENTREPRENEURS DOWNLOAD THE GLOBAL ENTREPRENEUR REPORT 2018

Picture source: www.worldseed.org